Principal Programme Officer Graduates with Master’s Degree in Public Policy
Principal Programme Officer at the College of Health Sciences, Ms Xolile Nontuthuko Kunene, has graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Public Policy.
Supervised by Professor Hamilton Simelane, Kunene has been working for the Institution for eight years, starting out as a student on a contract basis before being appointed full time.
‘Character is everything, it will sustain you. And integrity is also crucial. I am always open to new ideas with the aim being to get more knowledge,’ said Kunene.
‘I ask for advice where necessary and my philosophy in life is that humility is key! I also believe in hard work and I always have a positive outlook on life. I strive to overcome adversities and I do not give in to challenges.’
Kunene, who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Sciences and Management Studies and a Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours degree in Public Policy, decided to do a Master’s in Public Policy degree because she was interested in acquiring knowledge on policies in general and South African policies in particular.
‘I also observed that a number of policies fail at an implementation stage, whereas the policies seem to be good on paper, therefore I wanted to understand the discrepancy,’ said Kunene.
Her study titled: “School- based Violence in Wentworth Secondary Schools: An Investigation of Reporting Procedures”, was aimed at discovering and understanding how learners go about reporting school-based violence. She also investigated the effectiveness of the reporting procedures.
Kunene chose the topic because she is passionate about young people and wanted to investigate factors that cause them to partake in violent action. She feels young children should not associate themselves with such activities, as they could potentially cause their own downfall.
The study highlighted that school management bodies, the South African Police Services (SAPS) and parents play a significant role in curbing school-based violence by applying different mechanisms and strategies. However, socio-economic challenges seem to deepen the pandemic of school-based violence.
Furthermore, when learners get access to a good system for reporting violence, they take advantage of it.
Kunene advised staff members at the University who have to divide their hours between being a full time employee and studying, to work hard, set their priories, have a balanced life, invest in their spiritual life, exercise and eat healthy.
‘The challenge I encountered was time management. I was initially struggling to strike a balance but eventually I managed to overcome that by setting all my tasks and doing them according to their priorities,’ said Kunene.
Kunene is working towards obtaining her PhD in Public policy. ‘I see myself as a future Director General in one of the Government departments, more especially the Department of Education,’ said Kunene.
- Sinenhlanhla Ngubane